feelings of guilt - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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feelings of guilt

My 15 year old cat died yesterday. He had been losing weight for about a week and seemingly over night he fell off the deep end. He couldnt move, wouldnt eat or drink, couldnt even get to the litter box to urinate. We took him to the vet that morning. Unfortunately they couldnt even get a temperature on him and he was down to 7 pounds... he was already dying and the chances of him making it through surgery were nil. Needless to say I had him put down. I cant help but think if I had only brought him in a few days earlier he would still be around, he wasnt ready to die, he was a real fighter. Ive never had a pet or anyone close to me die yet, I am only 19. Im just wondering if its normal to feel this way. Sorry for the unpleasant post.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 11:10 AM
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Re: feelings of guilt

Of course it's normal. You've had your cat for most of your life and I understand it's very hard. I've gone through 3 dogs, 1 skinny pig, 3 budgies, 2 turtles, and 1 chinchilla. It's never easy. As for the guilt, if we were omnipotent we'd know what to do in every instance and be able to everything perfectly, but we're only human. We do what we can with the info that we have at that moment. You did what you could. Just know that you gave your cat the best life that it could have with the knowledge and experience you possess at this time.

When my chinchilla passed, I was beyond upset because I felt exactly the same as you do. Perhaps if I bought him in sooner he would be saved. Perhaps not. I do know that when he was alive, I did treated him well and did I what I could for him at that time to lead a happy life.

It may or may not work for you, but for me...I adopted another chinchilla at the shelter after about 2 months. He's helped me deal with my first chinchilla's passing. At first, I wasn't ready to deal with the prospect of another pet...another possibility of them passing before you. It would be devastating to me. But, I realized with the knowledge that I possess, it would be selfish to not save and help another chinchilla. They're exotic pets and most people have no idea how to handle them. I felt I had to use my expertise to help. Even one would be better than none.

So yes, it's perfectly normal to go through the feelings of guilt, sadness etc. Time won't completely get rid of it, but you'll feel better after a while.

Take care.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 12:33 PM
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Re: feelings of guilt

Welcome to Cat Forum and I am so sorry it is under such sad circumstances.
It is a simple fact that our pets do not live as long as we do, and it is *hard* to accept and make that Final Decision. But many times, that is the *right* thing to do for the pet. Please do not beat yourself up about it, your cat reached the age of 15yrs ... that is quite an achievement! And it is quite possible that it was simply 'his time' and any/all heroic medical measures wouldn't have changed a thing.
You cared for him. You loved him. You made a decision with his best interest in mind and not your own. What could be more unselfish than that? You did good.
I am sorry for your loss.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 12:44 PM
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Re: feelings of guilt

My little baby died Sunday morning. If he were able to have gone the way yours did I would still be feeling guilt and second guessing. But having watched my baby die as his body shut down with no access or time to get him to a vet, I would take comfort in the decision you made. I'm still in tears suffering from the horror of watching my baby die. He died of old age; the last few days he had quit eating and became lethargic. Still perking up and purring when I petted him, but too tired to stay that way for more than a couple of seconds. We always hope they'll get better. But under the circumstances you described, and with your vet's recommendation, you made the right decision.
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